This is where I talk about the development of my own games, and some other personal stuff!
|Posted on December 26, 2016 at 11:55 AM|
I've been feeling a bit unwell lately. Possibly due to negative emotions? So I've been mostly sleeping all day long instead of doing what I am supposed to do.
Worry not though, I'm still alive and working on my games. The release of KANJI no TOU will be postponed again though (sorry), but I guess it's possible to have some kind of test version with fully functional gameplay available in maybe two weeks. Perhaps a full version will be available by the end of January 2017? I don't even know anymore. I suppose I really am prone to schedule slip.
Apologize for the short blog post, I don't really feel like writing lately...
|Posted on August 3, 2016 at 11:15 AM|
It's been so long since my last blog post!
I haven't been particularly busy lately, but I'm kind of unmotivated. Lately I haven't been blogging since I don't even know what I am supposed to write. It seems that I've been writing everything much less often, too. I don't even post on the forum frequently anymore. As a result, my English has kind of "downgraded". Looking at things I wrote two years ago, I'm like "wait, I used to use words like 'misery' and 'coincide'?"...
Also there's so much school-related stuff that I have to deal with. I'll probably have more free time in the next few months though.
I've also just realized that the "deadline" for KANJI no TOU is drawing near. Ouch. I think I will postpone the release of that game by a month or so. All of the words and Kanji are in, but the actual "game" itself is kind of unfinished, and I want more time to test it properly. It's better to break a promise than to release a poor quality product on time, I suppose.
Also, I won't be making a separate game for Kanji writing. Instead, we will have some sort of gardening feature for KANJI no TOU! You'll be able to plant some trees, and speed up the harvest time by answering Kanji-related questions which may involve Kanji drawing, or you could simply wait a few hours to be able to harvest! Farming games are kind of popular among casual gamers and for the audience that KANJI no TOU aims at (Japanese learners who are not necessarily hardcore gamers), I think having a gardening feature will make it more appealing!
On a more positive note, we have reached $3,000 donation two months or so ago! This means that the sequel of Anti-Idle WILL be a thing! The sequel will be titled "Anti-Idle: Reborn", as you may have already known from this forum post. Honestly I am not very sure whether it will be postponed again just like KANJI no TOU, but I'll be sure to work on it diligently!
Regarding donations, someone mentioned that I haven't updated the counter for two weeks. I've updated it now, and it seems like ever since we reached $3,000, the average donation amount has decreased. Honestly I'm not very sure whether it's because we have reached the anticipated goal, or because I have been too busy to update Anti-Idle and interact with players lately. Probably the latter. I put in a small update last month to give players a free EXPILL every month and add in a small system allowing players to schedule +200% EXP events, but it seems like the number of players is so much lower than before and the update hasn't really helped at all. I'm not sure if a certain decision I've made has anything to do with this, or it's just either Anti-Idle or Kongregate "dying" in general...
I will probably write more later, and also post an official postpone notice for KANJI no TOU, but I'm a little tired right now so I will go to bed early. Good night (or some other time of the day depending on when you read this post), everyone!
|Posted on April 16, 2016 at 2:15 PM|
I'm done with the stroke orders - which is wonderful, but I'm suffering from depression from all these life events. Like, severe depression. I even had to search for suicide prevention tips a few times.
There are days when I literally want to do nothing, and I've been procrastinating quite a lot lately. At this rate the release of Kanji no Tou might be delayed. And I don't want that to happen. I really, REALLY don't. I don't want to break my promises, especially considering that all this is my own fault. I am definitely capable of releasing Kanji no Tou on time with all the advertised features.
I guess I'll instead delay the next big update of Anti-Idle (House + Achievement/Quest revamp and Dragon of Wisdom speeches) until September, which is after Kanji no Tou's release. I'm unsure if that's a good idea though... But, at the moment, I really don't want to do anything.
I'm also trying to work on an up-to-date Wikia page for Anti-Idle. People often complain about how the Wikia is outdated, but creating a new Wikia from scratch is proving to take quite a lot of time, and I seriously don't know what to do...
And don't worry, I'm still alive. I'm just too lazy to blog lately.
|Posted on March 4, 2016 at 11:30 PM|
I've finally purchased a domain name! Hooray!!!1!
I've been working hard on entering Kanji stroke orders in the past few days. Approximately 35% of the characters are done now, plus I have made tons of improvements to the judgement system! I've also planned a lot of stuff for the Kanji writing game that I mentioned in the previous blog post. Perhaps in a week or two, we will have a beta test?
I've been losing sleep again though...
|Posted on March 2, 2016 at 2:35 AM|
I've been working on a Kanji drawing system!
Originally, my Japanese learning game Kanji no Tou was supposed to teach Kanji reading only, but I figure that after making the Drawing Board for Anti-Idle, I'm probably capable of making a Kanji writing system, so I did it! Basically, you draw a Kanji as instructed, following proper stroke orders, and the game will then judge your drawing on a scale of 0 - 100 based on some criteria that is meant to be kept secret (but are surprisingly accurate).
I probably didn't deserve a perfect score for this, but at least it's still possible to tell which character it is, I guess.
Making this was undoubtedly harder than the Drawing Board of Anti-Idle or the "Pixel Art" minigame in "Game in Ten Seconds" where you simply drilled pixels for a few reasons. First, you don't "drill" Kanji, you draw it, so it might not be the same size and position as the original character and you can't really punish the player for that. And second, Kanji has stroke orders (for example, the above character has 29 strokes and must be drawn in the correct order from 1 to 29). If your final product looks similar to the original Kanji but the stroke order is wrong, you should be penalized. So I had to do some extra coding, plus, I have to manually add stroke orders to the Kanji characters!
I made myself a small program to add the stroke orders:
鬱, the nightmare of anyone who writes Kanji
It takes quite a lot of time to add the stroke orders to each individual Kanji character, but I actually enjoy it, since it allows me to "learn" the stroke orders too!
The more important thing though: While making this Kanji writing judgement system, I had a whole new idea! In addition to Kanji no Tou, I will make a separate Kanji writing game! It will be an incremental with somewhat similar gameplay to Kanji no Tou, but focuses on writing skill rather than reading. I figure that this will attract more players since you don't need any Japanese knowledge to be able to play, plus for Japanese learners, it will allow you to develop good writing habits (remember, stroke order is important). It will undoubtedly be the first incremental where you play by writing rather than clicking! The best part though: I will probably need only two extra days to make it, since all of the data will be used for Kanji no Tou too, and a lot of the time-consuming stuff have been done already! The game will probably be released before Kanji no Tou, too - so I guess I can use the game to promote Kanji no Tou, and playing it will allow you to receive gift codes for Kanji no Tou too! Plus, I will probably implement the same game into Kanji no Tou itself as some sort of "minigame", and there will also be a new mode in Kanji no Tou where you write missing Kanji characters in a word (for example, you are given a Kanji compound, the reading and the meaning but one Kanji is missing, and you have to draw it)! I guess that's what I will be doing...
I am going back to adding stroke orders now. So, until next time!
|Posted on February 27, 2016 at 7:35 AM|
I've been wanting to blog for a pretty long while, but couldn't because I've been feeling like crap lately. Mostly due to health problems and some life events.
I've finished a few small updates for Anti-Idle despite having posted a "hiatus notice", particularly the new Drawing Board feature. What I originally wanted to do was to allow donors to receive one-of-a-kind outfits as a bonus (they would send me the outfit and I would add it to the game), but on second thoughts, that means extra work for me and if support for the game is ever discontinued, it will lead to awkward situations. So instead, I tried to add a feature for donors so they can design anything they want in the game itself. But the feature turned out to be too cool to limit it to donors, so instead I added a "basic version" for everyone, so all players can design stuff and see if they want to donate for the advanced version! But then not everyone has the opportunity to donate either, so in the end I decided to add an extra in-game way to unlock it by earning 1,000,000 Battle Points. Though, this decision led to some complaints, mostly due to how ridiculous this condition is. I'm not sure if I made a right choice... perhaps I should have limited it to donors in the very beginning?
But then, the Drawing Board being available to everyone means I get to see a lot of creative stuff! Some people turned into their favorite game characters, or became a machine, or drew some very cute stuff. It's amazing to see what people can do when given the opportunity to be creative!
My primary focus has been on Kanji no Tou though. Currently, the game has support for 925 Kanji and there are 4,912 words. I kinda want to finish the engine first so we can have an alpha test... I think I will do away with the "overworld" where you use arrow keys to move, and instead use a simpler interface where you click buttons to navigate to different screens (sort of like Anti-Idle but with better user interface). This means I probably won't need walking animations for the hero anymore, and instead the hero will just stand at one place and hit monsters. The same as Anti-Idle, basically!
I've also created a Facebook fanpage for Kanji no Tou! Since Kongregate is not really an educational website, I think I will have to make my game more well-known to other people rather than just users of Kongregate, if I want to actually have a "playerbase". The fanpage is kind of empty at the moment, and I'm not sure what exactly I will do with it yet, but perhaps I will occasionally post Japanese-learning tips, plus maybe a "Kanji of the Day" kind of thing where I introduce one Kanji each day. Here's the fanpage - if you are interested in Kanji no Tou and use Facebook, be sure to "Like" it so you can get the latest information!
Last but not least, I have purchased a Premium subscription for this website, which removes ads (I think there weren't any ads though?), "webs.com" brandings and allows me to create more pages. Actually I don't really like the services provided by this website (though at the price of ~$7 per month I can't really complain), and perhaps it was not a very wise idea to use a drag-and-drop website maker rather than actual HTML coding in the first place, but it really helps me save time. I will soon buy a domain name too! I've been delaying the domain name purchase due to privacy concerns and potential legal stuff involved, but after all I suppose they aren't big issues and I tend to overthink these stuff a lot...
|Posted on January 27, 2016 at 5:55 AM|
So many things have happened lately!
I've actually been going through some of the not very happy moments of life, but I will soon be getting back to full spirit. And looking back at the past few weeks, I've actually done quite a lot of stuff!
First off, I've created a game for the Game in Ten Days #50 contest! The game is called "Game in Ten Seconds", and is a parody of the contest iself. I kinda wanted to use the "Ten Seconds" theme to create a game that people will play for much longer than ten seconds! And it looks like I've succeeded to some extent - in fact, I think certain top players of Anti-Idle have switched to playing that game instead. And I'm not sure whether that's happy or sad.
Actually, while participating in the Game in Ten Days #50 contest, some real life events caused me to lose motivation to work on stuff so I made the whole thing in only two days and a half. And it's full of bugs, too. Oh well, at least it's not a "serious project" but rather something I created to see what I can do in a short period of time...
I've done some more development on Kanji no Tou. I've finished designing the protagonist and its walking animations, though that's probably not too exciting. I'm also working on a "handwriting recognition" system of some sort. It probably won't allow you to efficiently search a Kanji with handwriting, but it can be used for "writing practice" and stuff. Like, you draw a Kanji and the game judges whether your drawing is good enough, by comparing your drawing with the correct one and also taking in consideration the number of strokes. I'm kind of excited!
Also, looking at the donation goals, I found out that I was planning to create a game called "Heroes of Tria". Whoa, time flies. I actually forgot that I was going to create such a game, and it looked like a creation that came to my head when my old computer was broken and I couldn't do stuff. I figured that such a game does not have much "longevity", and probably won't even come close to Anti-Idle. So I've made a few changes to the donation goals (hope you don't mind): at $3,000 I will work on the sequel of Anti-Idle instead!! Yes, you heard that right. I've already begun designing things on paper, and I've even created a font for the sequel of Anti-Idle:
Yes, that's the size that it will be in the real game. The sequel will have a 800 x 600 screen resolution, and everything will be "pixel art" (awesome pixel art, not like the Battle Arena). My pixel art skillz have improved over time, and I hope to be able to create the whole thing on my own including the art, and I will put my soul into it!
Don't worry though, even after the sequel's release, support for the original version of Anti-Idle will continue!
And since the Anti-Idle sequel has been moved to $3,000, the $7,000 goal has changed as well: I will create additional features for the sequel of Anti-Idle (including a tower defense with similar gameplay to the "Heroes of Tria" game that was being made), and will also release the Japanese grammar guides in PDF form for everyone to download for free! I'm working on a Japanese grammar guide at the moment by the way, and it will be put in the "library" feature of my Japanese learning game "Kanji no Tou".
Talking about Japanese, the JLPT exam results arrived today and I passed the N4 level!! HOORAY!!!1! Everyone was surprised that I was going to take the N4 level instead of N5, but I did it! I wish to be able to pass N2 level this year, and N1 next year!
|Posted on January 7, 2016 at 12:45 AM|
I've begun actual development on Kanji no Tou, guys!
My word and Kanji databases are now 50% complete, and I've decided that while I work on the remaining 50%, I will also be creating the game itself!
Right now there's only the main menu, but it looks much more awesome than the original main menu! I spent a whole day to create it. The background actually animates, showing randomized Kanji characters and... well, I just really like it!
While working on this main menu, I found out a way to reduce the file size by 90%, so I can add a whole bunch of awesome extra stuff without worrying about file size! It also reduces a lot of lag, too!
As you can see in the image above, the game will be half-pixelated (I know it looks kind of "lazy", but I'll think of some storyline for that, such as an evil Kanji monster causing the world to become partially pixelated and you are on your way to rescue the world!). I actually kinda like this style, it allows me to mix up a lot of different art styles!
I've decided to add a local two-player mode as the first feature in Kanji no Tou! One thing that has always bugged me about Anti-Idle is that there's no way I can show it to other people without making them think "wth am I looking at?!", so for Kanji no Tou, I'll create a two-player mode just to invite whoever asks me to show them my game to play with me, and then I'll PWN them! Well, just kidding. Seriously though, it will be kind of fun to play a 1 vs 1 Kanji game with a friend of yours who is also learning Japanese. This will merely be a "fun" mode with absolutely no effect on the game's progression, though I will consider adding the same thing as single-player (against a CPU, or maybe I'll make "fake multiplayer" like FCG) so you can enjoy it even if you don't have a friend learning Japanese!
As for the main game itself, it will be an incremental game where you learn more Kanji to become stronger and conquer higher floors of the endless tower of Kanji! (Since the tower is endless, the world will never become unpixelated and I won't have to draw the whole thing again in unpixelated art style... haha)
I can't really reveal much information at the moment, but stay tuned!
|Posted on January 1, 2016 at 1:20 AM|
Happy New Year, everyone! Everyone seems to be busy celebrating New Year, but to me what's more important is that the internship semester is finally over for me! I actually had fun with the internship semester, but it was too tiring and took up all of my free time. And now that it is finally over, I've decided to reward myself by not going to school for the next 4 months! Instead, I'll be focusing on doing stuff at home. There are quite a lot of things I want to do!
1. First of all, I want to have more time to work on Anti-Idle. "Tukkun Hours!" event might come back, where I spend some fixed periods of time every week to focus entirely on Anti-Idle. I want to finish the new Achievement and Quest systems in the next 4 months! Perhaps the House might be available too? There aren't lots of plans for new contents to be added (Anti-Idle is admittedly nearing its end), but still, I want to release more updates to keep players from leaving, since Anti-Idle is currently my main source of income and it would be kind of pathetic if no one plays Anti-Idle anymore.
2. I want to learn more Japanese and work on my Japanese learning game "Kanji no Tou". I'll continue entering data for words and Kanji, and I'll also be writing a grammar guide (and when writing that guide, I can learn quite a lot myself!). I aim to achieve either JLPT N2 or N1 in July! People seem to convince me that it is impossible to achieve N1 in just a few months of learning, but that makes me want to prove them otherwise (after all it seems like I'm quite good at learning foreign languages anyway)! I feel that a JLPT N1 certificate will be useful not only for job-hunting but also for increasing the popularity of my Japanese learning game.
3. I want to look into iOS app development. It seems to me that iOS apps are racking in insane amounts of money, and since I already have a "fanbase" with Anti-Idle, it will be a bit easier for me to advertise my apps when they are released. Don't worry, if I ever make iOS games, they will still be free to play and win. Of course I'll be selling stuff, but most of those stuff will be things that are obtainable otherwise or just removal of ads. I will likely use voluntary ads too, as in you press a button to view ads and you get free stuff for it, rather than ads that you are forced to view. I wanted to do this long ago, but Apple required me to enter bank account information, which I did not have at the time. But now that I have it, that is no longer a concern.
There are so many things that I want to do! Will I really be able to achieve them, or will I just be lazy for the whole 4 months that I don't go to school? We'll see, I guess, but I certainly don't want to disappoint you! If you wish to support me, do leave a message of encouragement on my Kongregate profile, or make a donation! Your support is what encourages me the most to achieve my goals!
|Posted on December 6, 2015 at 10:20 AM|
I've taken the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) today! It was kind of easier than I expected. Mostly because I know too much vocabulary and Kanji from the making of Kanji no Tou, haha (although I suck at the listening section).
Recently I have been very busy with internship stuff. I've changed my project once again, and the new project requires me to work overtime A LOT (even on Sundays, I can't return home before 11PM!). So, as you can expect, I have absolutely no time to work on my games anymore. Thankfully, this project is ending in two weeks, and my internship semester will also end on December 31, so I will be able to work on my games again.
I've done a little more work on my Japanese learning game, Kanji no Tou. Lately I've been working primarily on the "Library" section of the game. This is actually the only part of the game that has no "gameplay" - it's just a place where you can read "books" on Japanese grammar and stuff. Because, you know, it would be kind of awkward to make a game that teaches Kanji and vocabulary but not how to actually use them! So the game will have a "Library" in which you can read grammar books and stuff. The first version of the game will include enough grammar to let you use basic Japanese and easily pass the JLPT N5 test, but it is to be expanded with updates! I'm kind of excited - writing these "grammar guides" will let me learn a lot more efficiently, and being able to share my knowledge with the rest of the world is just a wonderful feeling.
A few months ago, I created a "furigana" system that allows me to attach readings on top of Kanji to use in the "Library":
However, on second thoughts, that looked ugly as hell, so I decided to scrap that system and replace with a much simpler one:
As you can see, readings are no longer written on top of Kanji! To me, this seems to look a lot cleaner. And having furigana on top of Kanji makes it so learners rely overly on these readings instead of focusing on the Kanji characters themselves, which generally creates a bad habit. Instead, you can now move your mouse over words you don't know to see the kana readings, meanings, inflections, and stuff.
You will also be able to click on Kanji characters to view the details of the clicked character, such as its readings, meanings and example words, and even add it to your learning list!
Everything seems wonderful so far - although I've been super busy, it still feels possible to release Kanji no Tou on time with all the promised contents. I also plan to "skip" one semester so that I have 4 months to stay home and focus entirely on making games and stuff.
One gigantic problem though, is that I don't have much "publicity", and even if this Kanji no Tou game turns out to be super awesome, not many people will know about it. I'm thinking of making a Facebook page for the game and frequently post stuff on it, but I'm not really sure if that is effective. I'm not really sure why, but I always have that feeling before I upload something new - the feeling that my work will not be appreciated, or it will just remain unknown forever. Or something like that. And it makes me kind of afraid.